|Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue (second, left) and delegates attend the forum. (Photo: VNA)
In his speech at the Vietnam-Bangladesh forum on policies and laws to promote economic, trade and investment cooperation in Dhaka capital, Bangladesh, NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue said with a favourable geographical location, Bangladesh is considered a gateway for Vietnamese businesses to enter and expand to other South Asian and Middle East markets, and vice versa, Bangladeshi businesses can expand to markets in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) - the 5th largest market in the world with about 650 million people - and enlarge to partner countries which have signed free trade agreements with Vietnam.
The Vietnamese top legislator said that in the current context of the global economy, Vietnam and Bangladesh need to strengthen cooperation, facilitate trade for each other, and enhance connections between their businesses to maintain existing supply chains, jointly attract capital and technology to develop new industrial supply chains with high added value. The two countries should also strengthen cooperation in agriculture and fisheries, especially rice and food, textiles and garment, construction materials, infrastructure investment, development of e-commerce and digital economy, Halal industry and tourism, he continued.
He said that on that basis, the two countries will soon strive for a trade turnover of about 2 billion USD.
Appreciating that Bangladesh has greened its textile industry and maintained orders amid a decline in other countries, the NA Chairman hoped that the two countries will coordinate to develop the textile and garment value chain on the basis of joint work and non-competition.
He also asked businesses from both sides to actively exchange and promote cooperation in the field of agriculture, especially clean agriculture and green agriculture adapted to climate change, and aquaculture, including pearl farming and processing.
In particular, NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue also asked businesses and the Chambers of Commerce and Industry to urge the two countries to sign a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the field of agricultural cooperation soon as well as extend the MoU on agricultural cooperation on fisheries and breeding.
Shomi Kaiser, Vice President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), said the trade and investment cooperation relationship between the two countries is currently not commensurate with their potential.
The two countries have not signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), but Bangladesh has a large market and always wants to promote investment, business and trade cooperation in the spirit of mutual benefit, she noted, adding that Bangladeshi business community is ready to cooperate with Vietnamese enterprises.
Bangladesh's gross domestic product (GDP) reached 455 billion USD in 2022 and the country is aiming for 1 trillion USD in the near future.
According to Kaiser, the two countries have similarities in export markets and Vietnam has diverse export products.
Bangladesh is making efforts to resolve challenges to exit the group of low-income countries, she said, adding that in that spirit, Bangladesh wishes to share development experiences and strengthen investment and trade cooperation in the future.
At the forum, the Vietnamese top legislator witnessed the signing ceremony of MoUs between businesses of the two countries.
The same day, the NA Chairman hosted receptions for Joshoda Jibon Nath, Vice President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and leaders of the Bangladesh - Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BVCCI) and the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).
At the meeting with FBCCI Vice President Nath, Hue said he hoped that the federation will strengthen its role in helping Vietnamese businesses learn about investment opportunities in Bangladesh's industrial parks, especially 100 special industrial parks and 26 high-tech industrial zones that have been implemented in conjunction with the South Asian nation's investment attraction policies.
For his part, Nath said Bangladesh is negotiating to sign a number of free trade agreements, hoping Vietnam will play a role in connecting with the Southeast Asian market. Vice versa, Bangladesh can connect cooperation between South Asian countries and Southeast Asian nations, he said.
Meeting with leaders of BVCCI and DCCI, the Vietnamese top legislator asked them to closely coordinate with the authorities of Vietnam and Bangladesh to promote their roles as bridges and actively support enterprises of the two countries in studying, connecting, and investing in the two countries.
The two organisations should collaborate with relevant agencies of the two countries to promote and introduce Vietnam's culture, people, business and investment environment, which is being improved to Bangladesh's business community, and vice versa, Hue added.
Later the day, Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue had working sessions with leaders from the Doreen Group, Abdul Monem Limited (AML), Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI), and Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB), during which he affirmed that the National Assembly and Government of Vietnam will accompany with and create favourable conditions for foreign investors, including those from Bangadesh, to carry out investment and business activities and exploit strengths of each country.
He also informed them about policies, laws and orientations of Vietnam, while urging Bangladeshi groups and associations with their networks of offices and banches to serve as a bridge to bring potential investors inside and outside Bangladesh to come to make investment in Vietnam./.